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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT : Dr. Natacha Poggio


About Professor Poggio 

Prof. Natacha Poggio is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in the Department of Arts + Communication.  She holds a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Experience Design from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Graphic Design from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Before joining UHD in 2018, she taught at Lamar University (Beaumont, TX) and also taught Visual Communication Design at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, in Connecticut, United States.  As a social impact design educator, she is a passionate advocate of art and design for social change. She spearheads award-winning projects that promote sustainable development and educational awareness of global issues. Her strategic work fosters transdisciplinary, multi-level partnerships that bring positive change in local and international communities.





Representatives from Citizens' Environmental Coalition visited the ART2302 class via zoom multiple times. Initially, they provided information about the organization and their needs for the project. In subsequent visits, they gave feedback on the students' designs in terms of the information and potential message to the community.

This was a synchronous online class. Students met at regular times and work in their respective designs. They had weekly group reviews to received feedback and collectively exchange suggestions for their improvement. They had about 4 weeks to work on all deliverables. I use the platform Miro for my classes as it is a great tool for collaboration. With this tool, everyone can see the work being created and students share their progress on artboards where comments can be added by any student in the class.

Students chose their own migratory bird species for their designs and created posters that featured characteristics of these animals and why they are important for our environment and it is everyone's responsibility to protect them.


I provided a footer that included the logos of all the sponsors for the project, and that will also credit the individual student name. A unique QR code allowed the viewer to find more information online in the CEC website about ways to help migratory birds.

Student Poster.PNG

As part of a collaboration I initiated with the Ion Prototyping Lab, we created custom laser cuts of each student bird illustration. Students met once in person at the Lab to understand how to design using laser technology. We were helped test and produce these by IPL.

Part of this process involved lots of experimentation and prototyping. While creating these laser-cut birds, we came up with the idea to display them perched on a wooden tree. We had fantastic help from IPL staff, especially Al deMoya, who worked on the tree's tridimensional structure. He shared schematics and adapted the design according to our needs.


Green Mountain Energy Earth Day, Sunday, April 10, 2022, in partnership with Citizens' Environmental Coalition. University of Houston-Downtown students poster exhibition with migratory birds' information and a laser cut tree with the help of the Ion Prototyping Lab.


Thousands of people showed up at Discovery Green during the 5 hours the event took place. The tree was a popular spot for photos and the students enjoyed taking pictures with their designs. Everyone was excited about a demonstration of birds of prey on display with some of the species featured in the posters.